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Lapid pulls out of UN climate conference after apparent election loss

Prime Minister’s Office says President Herzog will represent Israel instead at the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh next week

Prime Minister Yair Lapid addresses supporters of his Yesh Atid party at its campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv, early on November 2, 2022, after the announcement of exit polls. (Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid addresses supporters of his Yesh Atid party at its campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv, early on November 2, 2022, after the announcement of exit polls. (Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday canceled plans to attend the UN climate conference in Egypt next week, as initial election results showed the rival political bloc winning power.

“President (Isaac) Herzog will be representing Israel at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh,” the premier’s office said.

Lapid had been scheduled to fly to the Red Sea resort on Monday to attend the global climate summit. More than 90 heads of state and government, including US President Joe Biden, are set to converge on the resort between November 6 and 18.

Lapid’s replacement by Israel’s head of state, whose role is largely ceremonial, comes as voters await the final results of Tuesday’s election.

Initial results put Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party behind former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, according to the Central Elections Committee.

Last month Lapid said the “climate crisis presents us with exceptional opportunities” for the Israeli economy.

His predecessor Naftali Bennett met Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Sharm el-Sheikh last year.

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